Were Ellen White and the Pioneers Freemasons?

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Were Ellen White and the Pioneers Freemasons?
Does Adventism have a Freemason Background?
by Marcos C. Thaler

The following paper is written to expose the ludicrous and nefarious charges against Ellen White and Seventh-day Adventism that Freemasonry was a part of its beginnings. In fact, it will be demonstrated that everything to do with the foundations of Seventh-day Adventism is just the exact opposite. The very nemesis of Freemasonry.

What can be better than going to the horses’ mouths? Let’s start with what Ellen White herself had to see concerning Secret Societies and Freemasonry:

Ellen White on Secret Societies and Freemasonry

The Perils of the Secret Societies.–“The Lord’s injunction, ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,’ refers not only to the marriage of Christians with the ungodly, but to all alliances in which the parties are brought into intimate association, and in which there is need of harmony in spirit and action. . . . 

The Lord declares through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.’ Isaiah 8:9-13.

There are those who question whether it is right for Christians to belong to the Free Masons and other secret societies. Let all such consider the scriptures just quoted. If we are Christians at all, we must be Christians everywhere, and must consider and heed the counsel given to make us Christians according to the standard of God’s Word. . . . (Ellen Gould White, Evangelism p. 618)

She states elsewhere:

“Those who stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel cannot be united with the Free Masons or with any secret organizationThe seal of the living God will not be placed upon anyone who maintains such a connection after the light of truth has shone upon his pathway. Christ is not divided, and Christians cannot serve God and mammon. The Lord says, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and My daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”–Letter 21, 1893. {Ellen Gould White, Evangelism p. 622.1}

And continuing:

Deceptions Through Secret Societies.–“The world is a theater; the actors, its inhabitants, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama. With the great masses of mankind, there is no unity, except as men confederate to accomplish their selfish purposes. God is looking on. His purposes in regard to His rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has not been given into the hands of men, though God is permitting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama,–Satan coming as Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the passion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will be followed by the effect.

Transgression has almost reached its limit. Confusion fills the world, and a great terror is soon to come upon human beings. The end is very near. We who know the truth should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise. –Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 27-28. (1904) {Ev 622-623.1}

And again:

“I repeated to him the words spoken by my guide in reference to these associations. Giving a certain movement that was made by my guide, I said, “I cannot relate all that was given to me.” Brother Faulkhead told Elder Daniells and others that I gave the particular sign known only by the highest order of Masons, which he had just entered. He said that I did not know the sign , and that I was not aware that I was giving the sign to him. This was special evidence to him that the Lord was working through me to save his soul.”–Letter 46, 1892. {3SM 85.5}

As a result of this, he left the lodge. Such fruit would not have transpired had Ellen White not been of God. Only God made her made that hand-movement so that the Mason would know she was inspired, and that he should heed her words to leave the socieity.

So what have some of the other SDA Pioneers stated concerning Freemasonry and Secret Societies?

William Miller and the Pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Freemasonry & Secret Societies

Before we go further, we should start with William Miller.  After all, he was the one that got the ball rolling concerning the soon coming of Christ and the return of our Lord at the terminus of the 2300 year prophecy found in Daniel 8:14. So the question is asked, was William Miller a Freemason? The answer would be yes, but before he was converted.

The fact is, William Miller left the lodge, and gave up every shred of Free Masonry after he began to study the Bible.

Miller resigned his Masonic membership in 1831, stating that he did so to “avoid fellowship with any practice that may be incompatible with the word of God among masons”. (William Miller letter dated September 10, 1831 quoted in David L. Rowe, God’s Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World (Eerdmans: 2008), p94.)

By 1833 he wrote in a letter to his friends to treat Freemasonry “as they would any other evil”. (God’s Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World William Miller letter dated April 10, 1833 quoted in David L. Rowe, God’s Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World (Eerdmans: 2008), p94.)

So what about the pioneers of the Adventist Church following 1844?

Uriah Smith stated in 1857:

“One willfully believes in just such a God as he forms in his imagination and as pleases his own depraved heart. Another willfully adheres to a religion consisting in a loose set of morals, no more strict than to accord with his own loose conduct. Another willfully sustains a religion that saves all, let their characters be ever so bad. Another willfully sustains the pantomime of puseyistic folly as his religion. Another willfully cleaves to free-masonry in more or less of its various formalities as his religion. Another willfully cleaves to all the items, right or wrong, of his sect, for the sake of sustaining the sect. Another as slave to the principle, that he must abide in the sect where he was bred, and it is shameful to assume that children can ever know more than parents. He therefore willfully adheres to the religion in which he was bred, for the sake of his reputation with associates, who annoy him with that principle.” {December 3, 1857 UrSe, ARSH 27.10}

As we can see, Uriah Smith was completely opposed to any form of freemasonry.

In 1859, J. H. Waggoner stated,

“The boasted universality of masonry makes it necessary to exclude the name of Christ from prayers, otherwise they would be fitted only for a class, and hence be local and not general. He who joins in a prayer where the name of Christ is intentionally omitted to gratify another whodenies Christ, certainly compromises his christianity, and “has denied the faith.” This should lead every Christian to avoid such a connection. J. H. W.   {September 15, 1859 UrSe, ARSH 132.14}

On August 9, 1864, at a meeting at Battle Creek, MI, it was affirmed once again that Secret Societies or Freemasonry of any kind were incompatible with the Christian faith, and that we are to have NO association with them whatsoever.

The Conclusion of that Meeting concerning Secret Societies is as follows:

“Such to us are secret societies. The only safe position we see to avoid this net of Satan, is to flee from the first step in that direction, enter not the first of these secret associations, lest you sin against God and are drawn deeper and deeper into the allurements and follies of the world. We would say in conclusion that we have consulted with many of the ministers and leading brethren of Seventh-day Adventists, and the view of secret societies herein advanced, so far as we can learn, is that invariably entertained by them.” (John. Byington, J. N. Loughborough, Geo. W. Amadon. General Conference Comittee) {August 9, 1864 UrSe, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 87.19}

Several more periodicals can be produced which practically state the same thing following the 1860s.  In 1866 another conference was held, and Uriah Smith who edited the discussions of those meetings wrote a lengthy documentation in 1866 entitled, “Shall Christians Join Secret Societies?”

The lengthy document concluded the following 9 points. Each point is greatly expanded upon in the original document, but for the sake of brevity, I shall only quote the heading of each:

“First. Christ, our Master, neither instituted nor countenanced these Orders.

Secondly. In those rites, proceedings, and regalia which do appear, these Orders are frivolous, belittling, and unworthy of respect.

Thirdly. These Orders stand convicted of deceit and falsehood.

Fourthly. These Orders are unfriendly to domestic happiness and well-being.

Fifthly. These Orders are hostile to the heavenly mindedness, to the spirituality of those who join them.

Sixthly. These Orders tend to destroy Christian fellowship.

Seventhly. These Orders tend to subject the Church to “the world” in some of its dearest interests. 

Eighthly. These Orders dishonor Christ.
Ninthly. These Orders-the things note alleged against them being true-impede the cause and kingdom of God, and are, therefore, hostile to the largest, best, and deepest interests of mankind.” (May 8, 1866 UrSe, ARSH 178.4)

The above statement led to the following conclusion:

“Shall Christians join secret societies? Will it pay? Are they under obligation to do so? Is it right? Fellow-disciple, brother man, have you doubt on these questions? If it will not pay; if you are under no obligation to do it; if you have any doubt of its rightfulness, it is most assuredly your duty to refuse any connection with them.” {May 8, 1866 UrSe, ARSH 178.6}

Joseph Bates confesses he knew nothing of Masonry

Joseph Bates was a cofounder of the SDA Church along with Ellen White and her husband. In a letter to James White, he was discussing a problem over how certain meetings needed to be conducted in a church. He stated:

“The church then proceeded to transact their business. But did not come to a decision until the morning. If this was a secret meeting, then all church meetings are such. Mr. H. says, that one of “our number told him that it was too much like masonry.” As I never was acquainted with masonry I am unable to make the comparison, but this I will venture to say, that not one of the members who labored to have things made right during that church meeting, ever made such a remark to Mr. H.”  {July 4, 1854 JWe, The Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald 175.14}

E. J. Waggoner, a great expositor whom was respected by Ellen White, had this to say in 1894 in the negative in The Present Truth paper:

“A new Spiritualist journal called The Unknown World, has just made its appearance. In order that our readers may know from its adherents just what Spiritualism embraces, we make the following extract from the prospectus of the journal, most of the words of which we think they will be able to comprehend:-

‘The department of occult science embraced by the present editorial scheme are: White and Black Magic, Necromancy, Divination, Astrology, Alchemy, Witchcraft, Crystallomancy, Elementals and Elementaries, the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, Esoteric, Freemasonry, the Mysteries, the Mystics, Hermetic Philosophy, the Arch?ology of the Secret Sciences.’

We do not know if the above is the whole of the Spiritualist family, but it is sufficiently large.” {September 6, 1894 EJW, PTUK 562.3}

As we have seen, Seventh-day Adventism “embodies” the epidomy of an “anti-Freemasonry movement”. 

Ploy of Devilry to Make Adventism Part of Freemasonry:

I IMPLORE the reader to do their due diligence and research these matters out more thoroughly before swalling what all the critics have to say on the internet. Also, watch the videos that have been made that expose the foolish notion Ellen White or the Adventist Pioneers had ANY connections or affiliations with Freemasonry whatsoever.

It is with deep regret that I say, that those who have laid such false charges against Seventh-day Adventism’s foundations, and who have created unsubstaniated claims in videos and internet articles, I can assure are nothing but the servants of Hermeticism (the symbol of serpent, the Devil) trying to distract you from the real issues. The real issue is that Adventism and all its pioneers were the NEMESIS to Freemasonry! The number one champions AGAINST it. NO other body exposes it and the Papacy (which is behind Freemasonry) so much. In fact, the real pawns of Freemasonry are Dispensationalists, Supposed Torah Keepers [feast-keepers], Anti-Paulinests, and all those who give any fancy toward Zionism. Zionism, and all notions of a rebuilt-third temple in the Middle East and restoration of the literal land of Israel—IS a fabrication of the Jesuit Illuminati and Freemasonry.

In order for Adventism’s enemies to have a chance at bucking Adventism, they are forced to adopt a new ploy of Devilry. That is, to try and TURN the argument BACK against Adventism and accuse THEM of being part of the VERY SYSTEM IT EXPOSES! Satan is truly running out of options, so we see. He is more desperate than we can imagine.

I’ll tell you with unreserved straight truth. The critics are dead-wrong about Ellen White, or any of our pioneers being Freemasons after their conversion. It was actually some of the pioneer’s past affiliation with these societies that armed and ENABLED them with the ability and credibility to expose it. I know a new Adventist who was once a part of the Illuminati and God delivered him from it. He is now a brave evangelist in the ranks of Adventism exposing Masonry’s deceptions.

Satan has many wrapped about his little finger, dismantling their ability to view issues in their proper lenses. He njoys distorting issues in our mind. But many let him.

It is our earnest plea to those who have fabricated such charges to humble themselves before God, and be willing to give up these idols in their life that they have been cherishing, and be willing to accept correction and be hewed and squared by the evidence.

Didn’t Ellen White make some statements about the “All-Seeing-Eye”? Isn’t this proof that she had connections with Freemasonry?
Once again, this is another unfounded charge:

Let’s look at some Bible verses relating to the All-Seeing Eye:

Matthew 6:22 – “The Light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light”

Pslams 19:8 – “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes”

Psalms 47:2 – “For the Lord MOST High is terrible: He is a great king over ALL the earth.”

The fact is, Ellen White was not a Mason, a Freemason, or a 33-degree Freemason. That is a lie, and unsubstantial. No such proof exists. It is sheer garbage, utter foolishness, and beyond stupidity.

Notice: The bible also uses the “all-seeing eye” language:

– “Behold, the EYE of the LORD is UPON THEM that fear him” (Ps. 33:18)

– “For his EYES are upon the ways of man, and he SEETH ALL his goings.” (Job 34:21)

– “The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: HIS EYES BEHOLD, his EYELIDS try, the CHILDREN OF MEN. “ (Psalms 11:4)

– “he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.” (Zech. 2:8)

– “now mine EYE SEETH THEE.” (Job 42:5)

– “But the EYE OF THEIR GOD was UPON the elders of the Jews” (Ezra 5:5)

The “all-seeing eye” of Lucifer is a counterfeit.

But there is more:

– “For the EYES OF THE LORD ARE OVER THE RIGHTEOUS, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (1 Peter 3:2)

– “These things saith the Son of God, who hath HIS EYES like unto a flame of fire.” (Revelation 2:18)

– “and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and SEVEN EYES, which are the seven Spirits of God SENT FORTH INTO ALL THE EARTH.” (Rev. 5:6)

The whole reason Lucifer borrowed the “all-seeing eye” in the first place, is because He was trying to be “like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14), because He wanted to see “all things” like God could.


-Were the founders of Seventh day Adventism Free Masons, by Jud Lake (part 1)
-Were the founders of Seventh day Adventism Free Masons, by Jud Lake (part 2)


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About The Author

Edwin Cotto

With years of experience in evangelism and youth directing, Edwin has worked with various ministries including Our Higher Calling and Spanish ministry El Ministerio Internacional Jesús es la Solución where he had the opportunity to travel conducting evangelistic meetings. Edwin has also appeared on 3ABN, worked as the main apologist at the Adventist Defense League, and is trained and certified with the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He is also a Bible Worker for the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

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